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Zim records trade surplus against SA

Apr 15 2016 18:57
Malcom Sharara

(iStock)

Harare - Zimbabwe recorded a trade surplus against South Africa for the first time in many years after the beleaguered southern African nation imported less than it exported, official figures have shown.

According to figures from Zimstat, Zimbabwe imported goods worth US$476.1m from South Africa in the three months ended March 31 2016. This was against exports to South Africa amounting to $504.6m for the period under review. As a result, Zimbabwe has recorded a trade surplus of 5.98% against its neighbour for the first time in years.

Analysts however said the official figures are misleading, given the high levels of smuggling at Zimbabwe’s borders with South Africa.

Early this year the Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) claimed that the country had “imported about 1,5 million kilogrammes of chicken valued at $800,000 from South Africa between January and September last year, figures not captured in official statistics”.

In an industry update, ZPA chairperson Solomon Zawe said of particular concern was the fact that statistics reported by the South African Revenue Service were not being captured by local authorities, suggesting that illegal imports were continuing unabated.

Early this year a 400 carton contraband of cooking oil valued at R30 000 was intercepted by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and members of the Ferret team at Beitbridge border post.

Other analysts, however, said many factors explain reduced imports from South Africa.

zimbabwe  |  south africa  |  africa economy
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